In honor of Adam Schlesinger who died today from “COVID-19 complications” I’m going to revisit the first Fountains of Wayne album I owned, their self titled debut from 1996. I bought this album as a 15 year old after hearing the lead single and first track Radiation Vibe. Adam was one of the lead songwriters of the group.
The song, “Radiation Vibe,” had everything I loved, I fun science reference with radiation, a rad tremolo pedal induced guitar pattern, classic pop stylings and a bit of a gruff voice/scream.
The next track, “Sink to the Bottom,” is another classic pop gem with a 90s alternative tinge. I’m talking verse chorus verse with guitars using phasers for light effect. Don’t get me wrong, this song is a perfect single.
The third track is what a Beatles song might sound like if played through a 90s indie pop pedal. It’s called “Joe Rey” and it sounds like this dude, Joe, has been around but can’t ever take responsibility.
Track four is “She’s Got A Problem” and it is kind of a bummer. Classic 90s alternative sounds, nothing crazy, but a down temp beat, minor tune and lyrics about some chick who sounds like she is destined to be a loser.
“Survival Car” is track five and features a few (but not enough) “Oh la la las.” And that is all I have to say about that.
Track 6. Barbara H. By now you either are into this band and want to hear more songs that are of a very similar vibe, see what I did there?, Or you don’t. I don’t. This song is fine. I’m guessing the rest are too.
Bottom line: It’s sad to hear of anyone dying that remotely influenced you. Rest in power, Adam. You wrote great pop music that I hope is remembered.